Make us your home page
Instagram

The Daily Drivers First Look: 2014 BMW i3

Let's call it the Tesla effect. The innovative automaker and its Model S have owned what is a niche market for luxury EVs.

Enter BMW.

The German automaker's new electric i3 city car certainly isn't competition for the sleek Model S in design; for that, BMW will rely on its forthcoming i8. The i3 is more utilitarian in appearance, yet still conveys a futuristic vibe with its opposing doors and blue LED-colored accents. Under the skin, the four-seater hatchback's passenger compartment is made of carbon fiber. Inside, the car makes generous use of sustainable and recycled materials. The cabin has no center tunnel to take up floor space and even has bench seats.

Rusty Russell of Bert Smith BMW in St. Petersburg says the dealership's lone i3 induces motorists to stop and snap photos. Want one? Local BMW dealers — including Reeves in Tampa and Ferman in Palm Harbor in addition to Smith — have demo models and are taking orders.

Russell let me take the i3 for a drive recently and I was impressed with its acceleration and nimble handling both in the city and on the interstate.

2014 BMW i3

Price: From $41,350

Powertrain: BMW eDrive technology, lithium-ion battery, single-speed fixed-ratio automatic transmission, RWD. Range-extender model also includes a 2-cylinder gas engine.

Range: 80-100 miles or more. Range Extender adds up to 75 miles.

Horsepower: 170

Torque: 184 pound-feet

0-60: About

7 seconds

Dimensions

(in inches):

Length, 157

Width, 70

Height, 62

Wheelbase, 101

Ground clearance, 5.51

Seats: 4

Website:

bmwusa.com/bmwi3

The Daily Drivers First Look: 2014 BMW i3 07/02/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 7:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  2. New owners take over downtown St. Petersburg's Hofbräuhaus

    Retail

    ST. PETERSBURG — The downtown German beer-hall Hofbräuhaus St. Petersburg has been bought by a partnership led by former Checkers Drive-In Restaurants president Keith Sirois.

    The Hofbrauhaus, St. Petersburg, located in the former historic Tramor Cafeteria, St. Petersburg, is under new ownership.
[SCOTT KEELER  |  TIMES]

  3. Boho Hunter will target fashions in Hyde Park

    Business

    Boho Hunter, a boutique based in Miami's Wynwood District, will expand into Tampa with its very first franchise.

    Palma Canaria bags will be among the featured items at Boho Hunter when it opens in October. Photo courtesy of Boho Hunter.
  4. Gallery now bringing useful art to Hyde Park customers

    Business

    HYDE PARK — In 1998, Mike and Sue Shapiro opened a gallery in St. Petersburg along Central Ave., with a majority of the space dedicated to Sue's clay studio.

     As Sue Shapiro continued to work on her pottery in St. Petersburg, her retail space grew and her studio shrunk. Now Shapiro's is bringing wares like these to Hyde Park Village. Photo courtesy of Shapiro's.
  5. Appointments at Raymond James Bank and Saint Leo University highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers

    Business

    Banking

    Raymond James Bank has hired Grace Jackson to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Jackson will oversee all of Raymond James Bank's operational business elements, risk management and strategic planning functions. Kackson joins Raymond James Bank after senior …

    Raymond James Bank has hired Grace Jackson to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer. [Company handout]